How To Help Seniors Prepare For Safer Travel!

Senior in wheel chair being taken to planeTraveling can be stressful, especially as we get older. Maybe you’re helping your parents or older siblings travel. Maybe you have a companion who has mobility issues. Or someone in your group needs supplemental oxygen. No matter the reason, senior travel can become easy and stress-free with some additional planning. Here are some tips to make it safer and less stressful!

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Planning Trips For Older Adults

Planning trips for seniors can require extra planning. You may want to find hotels with rooms designed for people with limited mobility. Or you may want to request rooms close to the elevator for people who can’t walk very far. You can even find quaint inns and Bed-And-Breakfasts that have upgraded to allow better accessibility.

Special TSA Programs

If you’re looking to fly, you’ll have to deal with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as they screen all airline passengers. But the TSA has established a special program for screening people with disabilities and their mobility aids, devices and other medical equipment. But you need to provide advance notice to the airline or travel agent. A gate pass can also be obtained for someone accompanying a person with special needs. The limit of one carry-on and one personal item does not apply to medical supplies, equipment, mobility aids, and assistive devices.

If you’re planning for someone who has a pacemaker or other medical device either inside or outside their body, make sure it is safe for them to go through a metal detector or to be hand-wanded and if not, make arrangements for an alternate screening method.

Managing Your Medications When Traveling

If you have critical medications, don’t pack them in checked luggage, only take them in your carry-on bag, and in their own bag if possible. Also, keep your medications in their original containers that have: what it is, your pharmacy name, your doctors name, and your name. This is not only useful with TSA but in case of a medical emergency it can quickly reveal what medications are currently being taken.

If needles are used in dispensing a medication, it can be beneficial to have a note from the doctor explaining why the needle and paraphernalia is needed.

If you’re going on a longer trip, make sure you have enough medication to last the entire trip! Even on a shorter trip, make sure your bottles aren’t almost empty!

How About Supplemental Oxygen

This can be tricky as each airline has its own policy for on-board oxygen transport and in-flight usage. Contact the airlines you are planning on using for its current oxygen policies.

Personal supplemental oxygen will need to undergo screening. Ask a doctor whether disconnection can be done safely. If it can’t, a security officer can conduct an alternate inspection process. Also, if an oxygen supplier is needed to meet someone at the gate, make sure to check with the airline well in advance of departure to make arrangements.

Arranging Special Transportation

If you are traveling with someone with limited mobility, take advantage of special transportation services offered by airlines, cruise lines, and trains to board and disembark safely, often via wheelchair. Call ahead to check what services are available and to make reservations, if needed.

Final Thoughts…

As we age, traveling can become more difficult, but with proper planning, you can remove a lot of the stress out of it! I suggest you try a, so you don’t forget anything!

Would you like help planning a “special needs” trip? Leave a comment below and we can talk!

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